Farmers and ranchers in North Dakota's Foster County, in the central part of the state, were hoping for mid-July rain to bolster their moisture-short crops and pastures. The ag producers got their wish — and then some.

Nearly 6 inches of rain fell in the second half of July, including 4.6 inches in a single downpour, said Jeff Gale, North Dakota State University Extension agent for Foster County based in Carrington.

Though the rain helped some fields and pastures, at least to an extent, "We could really use a week or two without rain now," he said.

Crops generally are holding up well in most of the region, though spring wheat isn't doing as well as corn and soybeans, according to the weekly crop progress report released July 27 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The report reflected conditions on July 26.

And North Dakota, much of which was plagued with uncooperative weather last fall and so far this growing season, continues to fare poorer overall than Iowa, Minnesota, Montana and South Dakota.

Two examples:

Just 64% of North Dakota spring wheat and 63% of South Dakota spring wheat was rated good or excellent.

Only 63% of North Dakota soybeans was rated good or excellent, compared with 76% in Iowa, 84% in Minnesota and 84% in South Dakota.

North Dakota's soil, crops and climate, like those of the region overall, vary greatly from south to north and east to west. Carrington, roughly in the middle of the state, is somewhat representative of North Dakota overall and much of the rest of the Upper Midwest, too. A wide range of crops are grown in the Carrington area, and livestock is important there, too.

The mid-July rains came in time to help many fields and pastures that needed precipitation. But the 4.6-inch deluge, followed by more than an inch later, left standing water in some fields, Gale said.

Though more rain will be needed later in the growing season, Foster County ag producers have enough moisture for the time being, he said.

"We've just had enough for a while," he said.

Here's a closer look at spring wheat, corn and soybeans, the region's three major crops. All the numbers are from July 26.

Spring wheat

Montana — 80% was rated good or excellent, 15% fair and 5% poor or very poor.

Minnesota — 75% was in good or excellent shape, 21% fair and 4% poor or very poor.

North Dakota — 64% was in good or excellent condition, 30% fair and 6% poor or very poor.

South Dakota — 63% was rated good or excellent, 25% fair and 12% poor or very poor.

Corn

Iowa — 77% was in good or excellent condition, 18% fair and 5% poor or very poor.

Minnesota — 84% was rated good or excellent, 13% fair and 3% poor or very poor.

North Dakota — 72% was in good or excellent shape, 21% fair and 7% poor or very poor.

South Dakota — 86% was rated good or excellent, 11% fair and 3% poor or very poor.

Soybeans

Minnesota — 84% was in good or excellent condition, 13% fair and 3% poor or very poor.

North Dakota — 63% was rated good or excellent, 29% fair and 8% poor or very poor.

South Dakota — 84% was rated good or excellent, 13% fair and 3% poor or very poor.

Iowa — 76% was in good or excellent, 19% fair and 5% poor or very poor.